United States Goes Abroad

Americans become more interested in the rest of the world. The most influential groups were missionaries, businessmen, and imperialists.

  • Protestants were the most active group
    • Overseas missionaries grew greatly
    • Mostly directed towards China
  • These people saw Asians as inferior
    • Religiously ignorant
    • Uncivilized
  • Businessmen grew tired of the competition in America
    • Sought to move outside of the nation to make money
    • Exports of American goods rose
  • Big companies started to make branches overseas
    • The American Tobacco Company sold 1 billion cigarettes per year in Asia
  • These were people who wanted to be a world power
  • They wanted to build military strength
    • Many of them were Social Darwinists
    • Thought that it was their job to get to the top
  • Spearheaded by Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan
    • Wrote the book "Influence of Sea Power upon History"
    • Argued that the only reason Rome conquered Europe was by Naval Power
    • Asked for a canal the allowed US warships to go through Central America
    • Also asked for the control of ports in Caribbean and SW Pacific
  • Widely supported by McKinley and Roosevelt
Frontier Thesis- "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"
  • Hypothesis on the reason for American expansion
  • Written by Frederick Jackson Turner
    • Believed the frontier was essential to growth of the economy and spreading democracy
    • "How could the nation continue to prosper without the frontier?"
  • Since the frontier of American was closed, people had to look for another "frontier" - in other countries
Foreign Conquests
  • 1878, US secured rights to Pago Pago, a harbor in Samoa
  • 1885, US leased Pearl Harbor from Hawaii
  • 1889, US made a protectorate (watch) over Samoa
  • Cleveland got into Hawaii affairs
    • Helped the planters in Hawaii overthrow the king and queen and established another protectorate (1893)
  • These were people who felt that a nation's willingness to go to war was good
    • Enhanced a nation's glory
  • The US had a great rise in eagerness for war
  • Would play a great role in the Spanish-American War
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